I was thinking, people can get lonely when they live alone so what about birds? We know parrots are extremely social animals and can create a strong bond with their owners, but what about having a cage mate companion?
To answer your question, parrots love being around other parrots. In the wild they live in large flocks and spend lots of time with their mate. Getting your pet a companion could really encourage your parrot to be calmer, confident and happier!
Getting your pet a companion could be a great idea, let’s explore why.
Why do parrots need a companion?
In the wild, parrots would typically live in flocks of up to 30 birds! Could you imagine living with another 30 people?! Because of this, parrots need to have daily socialisation and attention no matter how old they are.
Within their flocks, they would live with their mates. Parrots bond and mate with just one other parrot. This means parrots are very loyal animals and are likely to bond with one or more people in the household if he/she doesn’t have a cage mate.
When they have bonded with someone they will want to be near the person all the time.
They might even get jealous if someone else is near the person they are bonded too! It’s clear they love interacting with their owners but sometimes birds just like to be around their own species, another animal that can really understand them.
Are parrots better in pairs?
Before getting a parrot it is a good idea to think about your lifestyle. If you work a lot or are out of the house lots, your parrot could become lonely as it will be home by itself an awful lot. Getting two parrots together might work better for you and your pet/s. They would entertain each other and wouldn’t rely on you so much for companionship.
Generally, having a friend for your parrot will make him or her happier overall. They will have someone to play with and talk to. You might find your parrot is more confident with another parrot around.
Parrots (just like humans) hype each other up and encourage others to try new things. For example, you could get some new toys and one parrot might look at them and start playing. The other parrot will soon join in!
Parrots thrive off of being in pairs or groups. It is completely part of their nature to be surrounded by other parrots.
Do I need to get another parrot if my parrot is bonded with me?
If your parrot has bonded with you, lucky you! That’s great news as that means your parrot trusts you and is happy. But do you find he or she needs constant attention from you? This might not be a problem at all, I mean, parrots are super cute and it is lovely when your pet loves you. But what if you have a job which requires you to be out of the house for a few hours at a time? Parrots need to socialisation, attention and love for several minutes, a couple of times a day. If you had another parrot, they would have a friend 24/7 and wouldn’t rely on you so much for attention.
Can I get 2 males/females or do they need to be of a different sex?
As mentioned above, parrots are very social animals and like to have company. Firstly, it is recommended that you get the same species of parrot as your pet. This is because it is more natural for the parrot. Secondly, you should consider the sex of the next bird you get.
Here are a few things to consider regarding sex of the bird.
Two female parrots:
Female parrots are the more dominant, stronger sex. They are likely to become territorial (especially when they are first introduced) and fight with each other. It is recommended you do not have two female parrots together. If you really feel you want two females, they should be kept in a cage that have two separate sides or two completely different cages.
Two male parrots
Male parrots, on the other hand, are more likely to get on well. They are less dominant and slightly more placid! It is recommended that if you are to have two males in the same cage, that it is big enough for them both so they don’t feel cramped.
Opposite sex parrots:
Parrots of the opposite sex will likely bond to one another and breed. It is worth noting that the female may reject the male and start to attack him to keep him away from her. This is unlikely if you introduce the birds slowly and let things move at their pace.
It’s worth considering all of the above before you get another parrot. You want your original parrot to be happy with the new setup and it’s new friend!
When is it not a good idea to get my parrot a cagemate?
If you are thinking of getting your parrot a companion, it is important to consider the needs of your pet.
If you have had your parrot a long time and been on its own the whole time introducing a new, younger parrot could cause a few arguments. Like I have previously mentioned, parrots are territorial animals and could fight over the space in the cage. To prevent this, you could put the new parrot in a separate cage to start with.
Let the parrots see and listen to each other before introducing them to each other. Secondly, you could get a larger cage. If they have any disagreements they can each have a corner to calm down in. It is important to remember that all parrots will bicker from time to time, just like humans!
Another reason it might not be a good idea to have parrots in the same cage is if you already have parrots who have mated and had some babies. If you are wanting to re-introduce their chicks to the cage, it probably isn’t the best idea. This could lead to inbreeding. Inbreeding can cause health issues for the birds and is not recommended at all.
All birds are different and it is important to consider the needs of your bird. At the end of the day, you know your parrot best!
Can a parrot live alone?
Having a singular bird is fine, but as parrots would live in the wild with lots of other birds they don’t like to be alone. Parrots require lots of attention, stimulation and socialisation. It is recommended that you give your parrot attention for several minutes, multiple times in the day. If you are not planning on having more than one parrot, you should make sure you have the time to give him/her all the attention he or she needs.
In conclusion, it is a good idea to have a companion for your parrot so they always have each other to talk to, eat, play and bond with. This means you can get on with your day to day life and give them both attention when you are home. If you aren’t sure whether it’s a good idea to get another parrot, you could talk to your local avian specialist.